Olympic champion Jenn Suhr sets Myers Stadium record in pole vault


Jenn Suhr checked another goal off her list Saturday.

The 2012 Olympic gold medalist, and U.S. record holder in the pole vault, finally competed at the Texas Relays.

She made the most of the chance, setting a Myers Stadium record of 15 feet, 6 ¼ inches despite battling less than optimum swirling winds.

Suhr, a New York native, spent about a month training in Austin last spring with hopes of competing in the 2016 Texas Relays, but an Achilles injury scratched that.

“This was on my bucket list, and I’m 35,” said the veteran vaulter, who also holds the world indoor mark. “I wanted to hit (compete in it) now.”

Suhr’s Relays experience almost ended before it began. She entered the competition at 15-1, when all but three contestants in the 16-person field had been eliminated. But Suhr missed her first two tries before getting over on her final attempt. She had another third-try clearance at 15-6 ¼ before going out at 15-9 ¼.

“A lot of third-attempt makes kind of take it out of you this early in the season,” she said. “I’m not in shape for that. But I think they also can be good because it builds a good mentality for the future. If I had an easy meet from the start, I wouldn’t be ready for battle later on.”

Suhr, who drove to Texas in a recreational vehicle with her husband/coach Rick and their 13-week-old Great Pyrenees puppy Glacier , isn’t certain how many battles she still has left in her.

She plans to compete maybe three or four more years — perhaps in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics if she qualifies. But she’s taking a more relaxed approach in the home stretch of her career.

“I don’t think I’m going to put as much in it as I did in the past,” she said. “You lose a little quality of life when you do that.”

SILVER FOR STONY POINT

There were not that many notable showings for Central Texas athletes on Saturday, but Stony Point senior Sydney Washington was an exception. She earned a silver medal in the Division II girls 100 meters, finishing at 11:47 seconds.

Kaylor Harris of Mesquite Horn won the event at 11:42.

RELAYS HONORS TRACK PIONEERS

Texas paid tribute to several coaches and former athletes on Saturday, including Dean Smith, the first Longhorn to receive an Olympic gold medal (1952, Helsinki, 400 relay).

Among the coaches honored at the ceremony were Longhorns Cleburne Price Jr (1971-85) and Stan Huntsman (1985-95) and Texas A&M’s Charlie Thomas (1959-91). Longtime Texas supporter Rooster Andrews was honored for his role as judge on the finish line.

Marquise Goodwin, a 2012 Olympian and current member of the San Francisco 49ers was also honored, as was Sanya Richards-Ross, a 2012 Olympic gold medalist in the 400. Leo Manzano, a five-time NCAA champion and silver medalist in the 2012 Olympics, was also recognized.

NOTEWORTHY

A Relays record 7,700 athletes completed in the 90th annual Texas Relays. … Dallas Highland Park senior Falyn Reaugh, an Oklahoma signee competing in her fourth Relays, won the girls high jump at 6 feet, tying the meet record. Destinee Hooker (2005), Erin Aldrich (1996) and Shenell Searcy (1989) have also reached that height.



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